Fiction Kitchen is an all-vegetarian restaurant in Raleigh, NC, offering a brunch that brings out dedicated followers who start lining up out front 40 minutes before opening. It’s a nice place, but certainly not formal. That being said, it is somewhat more upscale than what I would normally consider a spot for a biscuit, but the wife (who is vegetarian), and I were celebrating our anniversary on this particular weekend, so why not be a fancy lad on a fine Spring morning?
When we were circling the block to park, I took the crowd as a good sign, but was a little nervous that we might be left outside indefinitely once we finally got to the line. About 10 minutes before opening, the hostess came out and informed the uninitiated of the admission process, and assured us all not to fret. Obviously the staff at FK deal with these lines regularly, and have a system in place to make sure everyone has a smooth experience. It was really impressive. Once inside, I didn’t even bother to peruse the menu, I saw what I needed to see. Biscuits. Done.
Dense, small, vegan biscuits containing a mock fried chicken vegan protein, and looking more like biscuit-bites than some of the monster biscuits you’ll find in the region were brought out very quickly. They’re about 1.5″ tall, and 1.5″ wide. Bigger than Chik-Fil-A’s chicken minis, but notably not “standard” biscuit size. They’re a little dry and sort of crumbly, which makes me think that their small size is a matter of necessity. This could be a result of whatever unique vegan ingredients used, but it prevents a disaster on your plate, and it works.
I ate one plain with a fork and a knife not only for manner’s sake, but to pace myself because it was really good and I wanted to enjoy it and not just inhale the thing. The density of the biscuit was a good indicator of its substance, and although the plate looked a little lean, it was really all I needed. The mock chicken was good, nice and crispy on the outside, chewy but not rubbery, with the right amount of seasoning to give it a good fried chicken flavor. For my second one, I hit the biscuit itself with some blackberry jam, and the protein with some hot sauce. Hot damn, this is where it was at. I could eat a dozen of these little guys like this. All the same attributes as above but with the added dynamic of sweet, smoky, and hot made for a great biscuit.
I’m not really into the Sunday brunch scene. I find it cumbersome when I’m usually hung up on cramming in some work before the week begins, and I’m not a vegetarian, but for what it is, Fiction Kitchen’s brunch would be a do-again in my book on account of great staff, unique food, and the fact that the wife loves it.